Come experience thrilling adventures in the great outdoors, discover over 400 years of history in every corner of the state, or head to the beach for a little fun in the sun. Whether you are looking for a quiet getaway to the scenic mountains, an exciting urban experience with countless foodie destinations, or a vacation that the entire family will love, Virginia has everything you need to make this summer one to remember.
In order to win a war you have to have a well-rounded military. Being able to bring the battle to the waterfront opens new opportunities and strategies. The use of boats in warfare rose in popularity with the invention of the cannon. Prior to that most naval warfare consisted of ramming boats and boarding enemy vessels. Since the cannon, naval warfare has made vast advancements, not only do we have cannons and guns but navy boats are now equipped with missiles and torpedos. Not to mention the huge aircraft carriers that have helped take our Air Force to the seas. The advancements in naval technology have helped to ensure safety along the coastlines as well as improve the technology on our own recreational boats. The following infographic covers the largest naval sea battles in history. The first one dating back to 480 BCE and the most recent during World War II.
These battles have helped to shape the history of boating. Though warfare is just one aspect of boat usage, it has been one with some of the most funding and hard pressed for development. The ships used by the Navy are some of the most powerful boats in the oceans and don’t even compare to the ones we see coming into AYB. We are lucky to have the Naval Station Norfolk so close and can see these boats first hand. The station isn’t just the largest naval complex in the U.S., but also the world. Naval Station Norfolk is home to Commander, Naval Air Force, US Atlantic Fleet, Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic as well as the Defense Department’s largest supply center. We listed it as one of the places to visit around the Chesapeake Bay in a recent blog post. You can view their visitor information and times on their website.
Whether you’re visiting or already a resident there is a multitude of activities to explore around the Chesapeake Bay. It has a rich history, unique ecosystem and beautiful landscape that continue to amaze long time residents and newcomers alike. If you’re looking for some things to do here’s a few to check out during your visit the the Chesapeake Bay!
Located in Maryland at the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay, this fort is the famous place where Francis Scott Key wrote The National Anthem. There are tours offered daily and plenty of special exhibits to see. Fort McHenry is one of the celebrated historical landmarks around the Chesapeake Bay.
Accessible only by boat Smith Island offers a flashback to the English Settlers in America. It is one of the few places where the dialect of the West Country of England and the dialect of Cornwall are still rampantly heard. “The island was first mapped by Captain John Smith in 1608. The island is named for Henry Smith of Jamestown, who was granted 1,000 acres there in 1679. There are a little over 200 year around residents living on Smith Island”
Naval Station Norfolk Tour and Information Center-
If you’ve ever been interested in what a Naval base consists of, this tour is for you. See aircraft carriers, destroyers and freights along with dozens of other types of Navy ships. Located in Norfolk, Virginia.
Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse-
This lighthouse was constructed in 1873 and is the only remaining screw pile lighthouse in the Chesapeake Bay. It is only open to the public three months out of the years o be sure to check ahead of your visit.
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum-
The museum offers an ever changing array of events and exhibitions that are sure to please every member of the family. The museum will lead you through the evolution of the boating industry through tours of historic buildings and their very own lighthouse saved from condemnation in 1965. You can access the museum by both car and boat.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel-
Check out this engineering marvel! The bridge and tunnel, which opened in 1964, connects Virginia and Delaware and is 17.6 miles long. Not only is it a cool experience to travel both above and underwater but there is now a podcast tour that you can listen to as you follow the road and learn more in depth about the structure.
Spending the day on your boat sounds great, until 3:00pm and you’ve run out of things to do. Wash away your boredom with these 10 toys to keep you and your friends entertained.
This dive computer has some of the best technology available. It has a hoseless air integration system that uses an algorithm to calculate airtime remaining. The computer utilizes bluetooth and keeps track of data while also letting you seamlessly share your favorite dives on social media.
UNDERWATER CAMERA HOUSING-
Taking your favorite camera and encasing it in a waterproof housing allows you to take awesome photos of your friends underwater as well as the rarely seen ecosystems surrounding you.
Forget your old snorkel gear, this new age snorkel allows you to always breathe fresh air. You won’t accidentally inhale water that’s been sucked up in the tube and it’s less awkward design makes swimming and breathing more harmonious.
These virtual reality goggles are pretty cool on any occasion, but add the movement of your boat and it can add to the experience. It’s also an easy way to watch a movie without bothering anyone else around you.
Who doesn’t want to have a giant, air-filled, blob to launch people off of? Just fnd a high point and jump away. Watch as you send your friends flying.
Drones are fun both in and out of the water. Get yours up in the air for a bird’s eye view of your boating fun. You can even use it to scout out new places on the water or get awesome shots of nature.
Avoid your mid day crash by keeping this handy espresso machine on board. It’s compact size makes it easy to keep on the boat. The minipresso allows you to get great espresso on the go without sacrificing quality.
Nerf gun wars just aren’t as much fun when you’ve run out of ammo and can’t defend yourself. Get this dart gun and have 72 darts to shoot at your victims.
what day at the water is complete without a beach ball? Entertain your inner nerd and get this Death Star beach ball and let the Star Wars jokes ensue.
Riding a bike on the water? Not sure it gets much cooler than that. Take your own little trips around the bay on this cycling machine.
Spend a few extra hours out on the water. These cool toys will keep you entertained and give you valuable time with your friends and family on your boat.